Harrogate charity celebrates carers with tea party

Carers and the people they care for at the Carers Week tea party with Carers' Time Off. (S)
Carers and the people they care for at the Carers Week tea party with Carers' Time Off. (S)

Carers and the people they care for were in the spotlight for a nationwide celebration of their dedication during Carers’ Week last week.

With one in three carers £20,000 worse off as a result of their role and half having to rein in on essentials like food and heating, this focus is felt to be necessary to draw attention to the problems they face.

Harrogate charity Carers’ Time Off did their bit to raise awareness of the issues affecting carers by throwing a tea party at their base in Community House on East Parade.

The event was organised as part of Carers’ Week, an annual awareness campaign to improve the lives of the UK’s 6.5 million carers and the people they care for.

Service co-ordinator for Carers’ Time Off Christine Boxall said: “Caring places a physical, emotional and financial strain on families. Today’s event was about providing practical information about who to turn to for help and also gave people the opportunity to meet up and talk to fellow carers over refreshments.”

Statistics issued by the organisers of Carers Week revealed that nationally one in every eight adults are carers and that every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility. The Carers’ Time Off event, part of the Harrogate Easier Living Project, was held to support carers in their roles.

Presentations were made by Denny Levine from the North Yorkshire County Council adult health and social care team, Nicky Addidson, an admiral nurse from Dementia Forward, and Catherine Thompson from Carers’ Resource, each of whom was then available for questions.

Guests at the party included Val Hussey and her volunteer visitor, Nicky Horsman. Val is cared for by her daughter and is visited by Nicky once a week.

Nicky said: “We do all sorts of things together. We talk about the old days, do jigsaws, watch TV or sometimes go out. We have a good laugh together.”

Val said: “I look forward to Nicky coming. My days are not long when she’s around.”

Carers’ Time Off, part of the Harrogate Easier Living Project, works with a team of volunteers to provide short breaks for full-time carers to allow them some free time either to take a rest, meet with friends, attend appointments, go to work or pursue a hobby.

The service provides 141 hours of support to local carers in Harrogate and the surrounding areas.

Anyone interested in the Carers’ Time Off service can contact Christine Boxall on 01423 813094 or carerstimeoff@harcvs.org.uk or visit www.harcvs.org.uk/HELP